The Hawks lost control of the rhythm in Sunday night’s game against the Heat, falling 106-98 in the first game against their rivals since their first-round playoff series in April.

Trae Young scored 22 points and had a season-high 14 assists.

ExploreDespite latest loss, Hawks fans cautiously optimistic about future

Here are five observations:

1. The Hawks missed the presence of Clint Capela (dental pain) for the second consecutive game, though early it didn’t necessarily feel like it. The Hawks held the Heat to 1-of-6 shooting inside the arc at the outset.

The Heat ended up scoring 58 points in the paint as Bam Adebayo and Dewayne Dedmon took advantage of the Hawks’ slim defense inside. Adebayo scored 32 points, making 13 of 20 shots from the floor. Dedmon, who scored 13 points, was 6 of 7 overall and knocked down a 3-pointer when the Hawks dared him to.

2. The Hawks also had a solid start offensively and led the Heat 60-51 at halftime. Young made several reads to get his teammates involved.

Young accounted for nearly 68% of the Hawks’ offense by the end of the first quarter, scoring 11 points and dishing out four assists, with 10 points created from his looks.

Young doled out another five assists in the second quarter.

3. But the Heat did what they do best and adjusted when they returned from the locker room. The Hawks scored 38 points in the second half and had trouble moving the ball against Miami’s zone.

“I thought we did a pretty good job in the first half attacking, just attack the gaps, make them play to you, you know, play from inside out,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “And (in) the second half, it became a stop sign. And we’re trying to run maybe zone offense or we just (weren’t) aggressive enough. You got to be aggressive against that. Our man and our zone sets will work against that.”

The Hawks couldn’t find the basket, making 13 shots in the second half.

It was the second consecutive game the Hawks’ offense fell completely flat in the second half. The Rockets stunned them in the fourth quarter of Friday’s matchup.

McMillan said the Hawks have a tendency to get down when the shots stop falling and they have to do a better job of pulling together.

4. Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter tried to continue attacking the basket despite the Heat tightening up defensively. He started strong and seemed to carry that momentum through all four quarters, scoring 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the floor.

Not only did Hunter start strong offensively but he also helped the Hawks to set a tone on defense. He helped the Hawks to limit Heat guard Tyler Herro, who averaged 18.7 points entering the game, to 11 points.

Hunter made things difficult for Herro early, as he got last season’s Sixth Man of the Year off his mark. With Hunter setting the tone, the Hawks limited Herro, who normally makes close to 37% of his 3-pointers, to 0-of-8 shooting from distance.

5. The Hawks also had a big night from John Collins, who stepped up on the boards in Capela’s absence. Collins picked up his sixth double-double of the season, scoring a team-high 23 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.

“I really just took it upon myself,” Collins said. “I didn’t like how I was just rebounding the last couple of games, especially knowing CC was out tonight. I came with the mindset of just trying to gobble up as many rebounds as I can, try to box out and help my team on the glass; (just) missing the guy that is averaging 12 rebounds, so, you know, hurts a little bit.”

Collins helped the Hawks limit the Heat’s second-chance opportunities, something the Hawks struggled to do in their game against the Rockets. On Friday, the Hawks gave up 37 second-chance points, and with the help of Collins, they gave up only four.

Collins made 11 of 17 shots from the floor, as he tried to break through a scoring slump that has seen him average 10.2 points per game since Oct. 28.

Heat 106, Hawks 98

Stat to know

The Hawks made 10 3-pointers, marking the fourth consecutive game the Hawks have made 10-plus triples.


“We always continue to give them confidence. And so I tell him to keep shooting. ‘We know you’re going to get some shots.’ He hasn’t been shooting like he usually does this year, but we know he’s gonna, he’s gonna pick it up and start knocking down some shots. And he knows it. So, it’s good to see him get some some shots to go.” – Young on Collins’ solid night

Up next

The Hawks face the 76ers in Philadelphia on Monday night.